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New York Criminal Penalties

Long Island Criminal Penalties Lawyer

Manhattan Lawyer Explains Sentences for Violations, Misdemeanors, and Felonies

New York state law assigns each criminal offense a level of severity and provides sentencing guidelines for each level. There are three broad categories of offenses: violations, misdemeanors, and felonies.

Violations - NY Definition and Penalties

Violations are minor offenses such as harassment in the second degree, driving while ability impaired by alcohol, or unlawful possession of marijuana.

  • A violation conviction should not appear on your criminal record, although driving violations do go on your driving record.
  • Violations are generally punishable by a fine in the range of $100-500, although jail time (typically not in excess of 15 days) is a possibility for some repeat offenders.
  • Despite the relatively light penalties, you may want a lawyer to help you fight getting convicted, as such convictions can be held against you should you ever be charged with another offense. In addition, if you are a civil service employee, certain violations could result in disciplinary action.

Misdemeanors - NY Definition and Penalties

A misdemeanor is a lower-level crime but it will go on your criminal record. The maximum penalties for misdemeanors committed in the state of New York are:

  • Class B misdemeanor: The maximum jail term is 3 months. The maximum fine is $500.
  • Class A misdemeanor: The maximum jail term is 1 year. The maximum fine is $1,000.

Other possible sentences:

  • An offender may be ordered to pay up to twice the amount gained through the commission of the crime. For the crime of unlawful disposition of assets subject to forfeiture, the maximum fine is double the value of the disposed property.
  • A sentence of probation in place of jail time is common, especially for non-violent offenders.

Felonies - NY Definition and Penalties

A felony is a serious crime punishable by one year or more in state prison.

Maximum fines for felony crimes are:

  • For controlled substances and marijuana crimes: Up to $100,000 for class A-I felonies, up to $50,000 for class A-II, up to $30,000 for class B, and up to $15,000 for class C.
  • For other crimes such as theft which resulted in financial gain for the offender: Double the amount of the offender's gain from the commission of the crime, except for crimes of government corruption where the maximum is three times the amount of the offender's gain.
  • For other felonies: $5,000.

Maximum prison sentences for felony crimes are:

  • Class E felony: A fixed term of 1 to 4 years
  • Class D felony: A fixed term up to 7 years.
  • Class C felony: A fixed term up to 15 years.
  • Class B felony: A fixed term up to 25 years.
  • Class A-II felony: Life in prison with the possibility of parole, with the court to set the minimum term to be served in the range of 3 years to 8 years 4 months. Stiffer minimum terms may be imposed for predatory sexual assault crimes.
  • Class A-I felony: Life in prison with the possibility of parole, with the court to set the minimum term to be served in the range of 15 to 25 years. Stiffer terms apply to certain crimes such as murder in the first degree, for which the sentence is life in prison with no possibility of parole.

Variations in prison terms: Sentencing guidelines can vary somewhat by the type of crime. For example, for non-violent drug offenses, the sentencing guidelines are much lighter: a class B felony (first offense) has a maximum prison sentence of 9 years and the court is allowed to impose a sentence of probation instead of prison time.

Post-release supervision is almost always required after a felony prison term. Supervision is generally required for one year for a class D or E felony and for as long as two years for a class B or C felony. Supervision periods can longer for sexual and violent offenders.

Alternative Punishments

Some offenders with substance use disorders may be diverted from criminal court to a drug treatment court, substituting treatment for jail time.

Some offenses are eligible for probation or intermittent imprisonment in place of imprisonment.

Manhattan Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you are facing criminal charges in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, or Manhattan, contact the law firm of JOEY JACKSON LAW, PLLC at 833-563-9522. We also serve clients in Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties.


Call Us833-563-9522

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